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access_time August 13, 2014 at 1:16 AM in Features by Dragos Dobre

Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity deal will hurt the company’s sales and image

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity deal will hurt the company’s sales and image

This year’s Gamescom conference was full of surprises, but not all of them were good or pro-consumer. And if you read the title, you already know what I’m going to talk about. As we previously discussed, exclusive games are very important for console, without them being obsolete. While most of them are made at in-house studios, there are a few “bought” exclusives such as Rise of the Tomb Raider.

What bought means? It means that the studio in charge with the game cares so much about money, that they sold exclusivity for their upcoming title to the highest bidder, which in this case is Microsoft. It stands to reason that they didn’t choose the platform based on install base, or continuity, it’s all just about the money.

Microsoft has proven us that when you think about money, instead of your customers you will get hurt, badly. Above everything is the image you make, and how customers perceive you, and the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider was turned into an exclusive title overnight made a lot of people angry, with good reason.

When Crystal Dynamics sold Rise of the Tomb Raider to Microsoft, they also let go of the 10 million install base that PlayStation 4 has and the enormous amount of PC owners, who are pretty much everybody in the world. Microsoft has the least sold consoles of the next-gen, so will the money received upfront by the developer compensate the fact that they lost over 10 million customers with just one announcement?

We can’t blame Microsoft for doing this, as a hardware owner they are entitled to try to snatch all exclusive titles possible in order to convince you to buy Xbox One. And while most will disagree, I’m sure there are a couple thousand people who will buy the console just for Tomb Raider.

However, I can’t find any excuse for Crystal Dynamics especially when the first Tomb Raider reboot was released on pretty much every platform (except Nintendo’s Wii U). I’m sure that if they announced from day one their partnership with Microsoft, and only released titles exclusively on that platform, nobody would have been upset.

For a studio, no matter how big or small it is, the most important thing is to release their newest game on as many platforms as possible and get as many sells they can to continue their work in the future. By selling out, and signing this contract, Crystal Dynamics pretty much forgot about a lot of their fans and treated them in a disrespectful way, and while some will forgot about this and still buy the game, there will be a few that won’t.

As a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owner, I won’t be affected directly by this announcement, but I also have second thoughts when it comes to buying the game. In no way or form we should support this kind of moves, because they are anti-consumer and shows us how our trust can be sold for just a pile of money.

Even if the game is only a time exclusive for Xbox One, Crystal Dynamics’ move is shameful in every way possible.


  • Sashimi_Sensei August 13, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    Although I agree with your sentiment, history shows us that at the end of the day, gamers want to play games, and no matter how big a shit the developer/publisher is (I’m looking at you EA) they will still drop their money the second the game is released. PS4 owning Lara fans might through their arms up in the air right now and declare that they’ll never buy a Tomb Raider game again, but if the game ever makes its way to PS4, those same people will snap that shit up faster than Lara snaps necks. That’s just the way the games industry works.

    • Chris August 13, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      Not me, i wont support this crap. cause if this does well which it probably will. then micro will try and do this again or sony may try which isnt good.

  • Betrayed August 13, 2014 at 4:05 AM

    Was really considering Tomb Raider Definitive Edition for PS4 – not now, not ever.

  • kenodd (@kenodd74) August 13, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Exclusive console titles will be more important this generation than ever, because both the Xbox One and the PS4 share similar specs,although PS4 has a more powerful GPU. This year the PC is considered to be the best option to go for spec wise, and most are coming out for the system. Sales of PC hardware targeted at gamers has boosted incredible, and everyone that can afford one will buy one just for gaming purposes. Each console needs to stand out on it`s own, because it will be a random pick between Xbox One and the PS4 if every games are the same. They need exclusive titles to drive sales for each of the systems, that`s vital trough the whole consoles lifespan. Everything is for sale, and those with the deepest pockets get`s the best exclusives, and Microsoft have the economy to do just that. You also have to think about that since Microsoft is behind Sony in sales, they will do everything to make their console the superior choice. Like i mentioned above the PC is also a big contender this generation, this makes exclusives for consoles more important than ever. Why would anyone care to buy a console, if you can get all the games on PC in a more detailed and advanced versions, that goes for those who can afford one that is. The only way the consoles can fight back, is to get hold of as many exclusives as they can. Since Xbox One and PS4 is almost identical in hardware terms, they need to prove it more than ever. I think this generation will see more exclusives than ever before, because both of them feel the need to stay ahead of the competitor. In short more buyouts will come than ever, look at Capcom one of the console giants will most likely buy them out, and all of Cacpom`s franchises will become exclusive to their respective owner and console. I don`t mind having both Xbox One and PS4, all i want is to play great games and it doesn`t matter what console i play the game on. I think competition si healthy and it will only give us console owners better games in the end, and that is a fact!

    • Chris August 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      How is taking an established franchise that has always been multiplatform and making it to one console is healthy. it doesn’t benefit no one but micro. this is an awful business decision. people buying this game now will encourage micro to do this crap again. or worse sony will try and copy. also as much as i love my mi-range pc. it doesn’t have games that sony and nintendo make. so for me its not about the best “specs” its about what games i like and consoles have more games i love than pc.

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